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Will You Thrive Or Just Survive When The Correction Comes?

This year still looks really strong across the board in tourism, and I’m not looking to incite any panic, but in many of my recent meetings there’s a level of concern coming out of the c-suite looking out on the horizon, 18–24 months. Course correction is certainly coming, always does and when things slow travel is one of the first things taken off the table. Remember 2008/09?

We all hope I’m wrong, I hope I’m wrong… but do you really think it’s realistic to think otherwise? Now we could go on for days debating the timing of course.

Let’s do a barometer check….the Dow raced 25% higher in 2017, getting even closer to 25,000 and making this year its best since 2013. Now 2017 was a hard act to follow with its double-digit gains, record-low volatility and untrammeled exuberance but judging by the market’s extraordinary gains so far in early 2018, it could shape up to be another one for the record books. The bull market is set to celebrate its ninth birthday in March, and if it remains intact into August, it will officially become the longest in history. That’s equally great and frightening.

The jobless rate in the United States is just 3.9 percent in April, approaching a 45 year low, which is of course good… the fact that wages haven’t followed suite is certainly troubling moving forward.

The point is, for those of us that have been around awhile, know — the party doesn’t last forever.

Housing took down the economy in ’08, this time college debt may be the tipping point, or perhaps simple inflation, or a confluence of economic and geo-political forces going south.

Just this week headlines such as… “Stock markets plunge as Trump orders $200 BILLION of tariffs on China and Beijing hits back with duties on U.S. goods”… doesn’t seem like it’s good for stability.

Regardless of what vertical explodes, down cycles are part of being in business and for those that prepare for the storm not only survive in many cases, they come out stronger than before.

Let’s go back to 2008 again, those that best weathered the last storm, were the ones that had their global B2B strategy and platforms primed to keep the attention of sellers. You might remember, the consumer clicks dried up and most of the incremental sales were driven by the Rolodexes of travel agents and advisors to help keep heads in beds when sentiments changed. A lot of destinations and brands were caught flat — footed.

So what steps can you take?

I believe a winning plan of attack centers around investing in your organization. More specifically on training and an upgrade to the technology that supports your training efforts. Look it’s no secret that many companies are dealing with outdated LMS systems and out of touch training platforms. I know this because many of you have told me your system needs an update.

Investing in these areas is the smart move because it allows you create a win/win scenario. Here’s what I mean:

(A) if things continue to go well you better arm your agents to continue selling more of your product at higher yields. (B) if things take a turn, this investment will pay dividends when they matter most while better positioning you competitively to weather whatever comes. That’s a win/win.

The difference of a few percentage points in growth or decline translates into big earning swings…. an elite training solution coupled with ongoing mobile sales enablement tools is one of the best moves you can make TODAY to insulate and solidify yourself with more professional advisors/sellers.

And right now, industry leaders are making moves. I know this because it has transformed our organizations into one of the fastest rising tech companies in the B2B travel space in decades. We are now responsible for powering the B2B sales activation efforts for many of the leading destinations like Thailand, Visit California, Peru and Visit Florida, and the entire Caribbean Basin– along with a dozen more.

We also work with a number of key brands powering training and/or enablement programs for Globus family of brands, including Avalon WaterwaysBarcelo Hotels and Resorts, Rocky Mountaineer Rail to name a few recent additions. Many of these programs we also power for multiple international markets, the California STAR program, for example, is localized and translated for 16 international markets, Peru 8 markets, Los Angeles 8 markets… all from a single back-end dashboard.

Am I bragging…yeah maybe a little. But the fact is this…travel organizations of all shapes and sizes realize that training is a key and fundamental element of their business strategy. And many are looking for a solution that can provide them with a new way of operating. Something that goes well beyond what the legacy brands have been providing. For an easy comparison of how we stack up. Take a look at the graphic below.

Look, a downturn in the economy may happen next week, it may happen two-years from now. Regardless of when you need to be looking ahead and be ready for whatever kind of storm hits. And investing in the tools and technology that can better train and inform your sellers about your product and help your product stand out is needed today more than ever. Take the next step and let’s have a conversation about how we can help your business.

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